Blog Design Matters – What I’ve Learned

blogdesignmattersHere’s a quick lesson I recently learned about blog design that may save you lot’s of time in the future.

This little change has drastically increased the time spent on Pennyroll.com from 45 seconds on average to over 3 minutes and lowered the bounce rate by 25 percent. It’s all the same content it’s just more accessible now.

Isn’t Cotent King?
I’ve written a lot of content for pennyroll.com as they all say content is king. But I recently learned that there’s an exception to that rule and an important lesson to be learned. If the content isn’t layed out properly you can have all the content in the world and it won’t matter if your visitors have trouble navigating  your website.

If you’ve been to Pennyroll.com in the past you may have noticed that the look and feel has changed a few time. Blog Design most definitely matters. When I set up Pennyroll.com using the WordPress system I did what everyone does I found the best “looking” theme I could find clicked install and boom my site had a look and feel. Then so as not to look like the 10,000 websites that had the same theme I decided to alter it a bit. I altered it so many times that became completely unique and I was happy quite happy with it. The problem was that the design I chose was not the right type of layout for the content.

What Changed?
Originally I chose a Page based layout as so many others have simply because most of the themes available out there are built that way. When I first setup Pennyroll.com I was quite new to WordPress so I really didn’t know any better. As I built the site I learned more and more about how the system works but since I’d already had the foundation in place I put off setting up the site the correct way using Category based navigation instead of page based.

Dramatic Change
This week I decided to make the switch and I’m glad I did as it’s already dramatically increasing the time spent on the site and lowering the bounce rate. Visitors are now staying around much much longer, I went from an avarage time on the site being 45 second to at best 1:30 second and now it’s  just over three minutes. Thats a big difference considering the content is exactly the same.

I though I had a decent layout before but I knew I was doing extra work in order to maintain it. WordPress is very dynamic if set-up properly.

What you can learn from my mistake?
Take a look at the content of your website. Examine how it’s layed out and if making the same change I did would inprove the accessibility of your content or would allow you to make more use of the dynamic nature of WordPress.

If you’re using pages consider switching to Categories as the main Navigation.

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